Sunday, 31 July 2011

"You've got water in your water."

Ira Levin (yes, indeed! The author of ROSEMARY'S BABY...) noticed that the play he was about to write contained to many parts - so he turned it into a small novel which was at the same time thriller and satire and would be released in 1972.

In 1975 it became a now film classic directed by Bryan Forbes: THE STEPFORD WIVES.

In a nutshell:

Joanna Eberhart (Katharine Ross) and her husband Walter (Peter Masterson) move - together with their children Kim and Amy - to peaceful Stepford.
Joanna soon feels a bit lonesome for all other women seem to be only living for making a perfect home and being perfect wives to their husbands.. And Walter himself spends more and more time with the men's association of Stepford. Joanna's only friends are tomboyish, funloving Bobbie Markowe (Paula Prentiss) and gorgeous Charmaine Wimpiris (Tina Louise) - but suddenly Charmaine also turns into the perfect housewife - completely devoted to her husband.
And finally Bobbie, formerly proud of her messy kitchen starts to be a TV-ad-like hausfrau.. And Joanna has to face that there isn't much time left for herself to escape..


  • No settings were build for this film – it is all shot at actual locations.

  • Diane Keaton tested for the Joanna part - according to director Bryan Forbes she turned the role down because her analyst got "bad vibes" from it.

  • Paula Prentiss wasn’t first choice for the part of Bobbie – originally Joanna Cassidy had it, but she left the production after a few weeks.

  • Brian de Palma was discussed to do the direction for this film.

  • Before she canceled her contract Tuesday Weld had signed to perform the role of Joanna.

  • Other actresses who were at some point considered to play the Joanna part were: Joanne Woodward, Mia Farrow - because of her success with ROSEMARY'S BABY (1968) -, Susan Sarandon, Jean Seberg, Shirley MacLaine and Elizabeth Montgomery.

  • Bryan Forbes wanted to create a “sunshine thriller” – so most scenes are set in light colors – very bright and shiny – except for the finale of course..
  • *SPOILER* In the scene in which Joanna has to stab Bobbie you don't see Katharine Ross' hand. During the shooting she became that good friends with Paula Prentiss she had trouble to do an attack on her so that Bryan Forbes shaved the back of his own hand and did the stabbing.. *SPOILER*

A nodding aquaintance:

  • Katharine Ross' best known performance might be "Eelaaaaaaine!!" from THE GRADUATE.. (1967). ;")

  • Dee Walles who plays Charmaine’s maid later had the role of Mary in E.T. : THE EXTRA-TERRESTIRAL (1982).

  • Tina Louise is the original Ginger from GILLIGAN’S ISLAND (1964-1967).

  • The Ted van Sant part is performed by Josef Sommer (who here appeared as Josef Somer) - a German born actor who inter alia also appeared as the President in X-MEN : THE LAST STAND (2006) and as Dr. Eaton in PATCH ADAMS (1998).

  • You may know Franklin Cover (here Ed Wimpiris) from THE JEFFERSONS (1975-1985).

It’ll stay in the family:

  • Nanette Newman (Carol van Sant) is the wife of director Bryan Forbes - and some of you may be sad to hear that before she was casted the original idea was to dress the Stepford wives like Playboy Bunnies.. I don't know if Nanette Newman was all against it or just not "the right way built" (actually I don't think that any of these is the case..) - but apparently the idea died with her signing the contract.. She is doing a really good job - so what if the costume department had to spent more money because of long dresses instead of hot pants? I for one don't care that much - for me the dresses are part of the horror.. ;")

  • Peter Masterson brought his daughter to the set who got the role of Kim in this film – it was her debut. Does anyone of you perhaps know the name Mary Stuart Masterson?

You should watch this film if you

  • … are a feminist.

  • … are an anti-feminist.

  • … like to know how my mom looks - that is looked in the late 70s to mid 80s.
  • … are a bad housewife.

  • … are a perfect housewife.

  • … are wishing to get a perfect housewife.

Have a look:

Okay, okay.. This is NOT the original film trailer - but it is well done and the quality is fine:

Never-ending story (= the sequels and the remake):




  • THE STEPFORD WIVES (2004) – the remake with Nicole Kidman as Joanna is nice, but more of a pastel colored comedy – and sadly they changed the end.

Quotes corner:

“A German virgo. Their thing is, you know, to serve.”

Well, yes.. – thank you.

Anyone around here asking him-/herself which is my zodiac sign??

M-hm.. yeah.. Exactly.. - and in German, dear friends, “virgo” and “virgin” are the same word – any pun you spontaneously can think of? Yeah – I thought so..

And about that serving bit, that is completely untrue! I mean… ... Hey! Your glass is empty! Let me fetch you a new drink, dear.. What? No!.. No problem at all, love! Anything else I can do for you?…

Of course it is a bit different than the book – some meanderings are just minimal others are completely new:

The book is more mysterious about what happens to the women..

What I really like about the changes: in the book it’s more than everything else Joanna’s view (which is marvelous for the book) – the film adds a bit of character drawing of the other involved persons. Well, it’s a narrow book – won’t be a very long film without some additions…

It’s a bit strange for me to watch this film – because Katharine Ross – at least in the total shots looks quite like my mom did in the 1970s to mid 80s – well, my mom’s nose is the most obvious difference in their appearances..

My mom still looks like her – well, she wears her hair in an updo now – very similar to the one Joanne wears when she visits the psychiatrist.. oh - and: yes, my mother is a fulltime and total hausfrau.. - which, dear friends, I am not.

Bad cook and … well, yes – the windows should have been cleaned last weekend.. (I'll do that next weekend..) Somehow it’s not given to me to have a sparkling, antibacterial home.. Hm.. maybe if I’ll quit my job..

Anyway the resemblance between Ms. Ross and my mother is quite haunting for me.. In the supermarket scene Joanna looks absolutely like my mom on her wedding day.. even the hat..

Okay, enough of that: What really is the haunting part of the movie (for those of you whose mothers don't look like Katharine Ross of course.. ahem! Really!! THAT IS SCARY!!!) is that almost all the men seem to be so normal. Walter is a sweet and caring husband. And the true horror isn't the women being houswifes - honest: why should it? - it's that they have no choice!

I really, really love this film - and I hope you do, too!

"Why? Because we can.”

The End? Wait and watch!

Yours (very well and) truly,


Saturday, 30 July 2011

It's The Irene Palfy Show....

So me and Irene had been talking about how witty and funny she is and I stated she should have her own variety show ala Carol Burnett. So this post will be describing how I think the Irene Palfy Show would go..have patience with me, since this is the first episode.

So the screen fills up with some snazzy music and shots of Hanover, where Irene lives. She is walking down the street, smiling and greeting all those she meets. Kind of like Marlo Thomas from That Girl or Mary Tyler Moore. It definitely has a 60's feel to it. She is dressed in bright colors and is just happy go lucky. The camera pulls back and the title says....THE IRENE PALFY SHOW.
Then we cut to a live audience ala Carol Burnett and the announcer says "Ladies and Gentlemen, Miss Irene Palfy". The audience cheers and claps with thunderous applause. The curtain goes up and Irene walks out waving to the audience. Dressed in a long black dress Irene starts clapping herself and says "Hi everybody. Welcome to my show. The first and hopefully not last show that you will see me in". The audience laughs.

Irene speaks "So my good friend Monty from All Good Things is the brains behind this mad little exercise and he wanted to help launch my show. So I figured what the hay..let's do it. So bear with me as this is my first time before such a large crowd." Irene pauses and then says "Are you guys sure you're at the right show? I mean its me Irene Palfy. I'm no superstar. Well not yet anyway"
The crowd responds with laughter as Irene walks back and forth on the stage.

"Well I just want to say what's on tap for the show tonight. My special guest will be Sir Sean Connery..the original James Bond". the crowd cheered immediately and wildly.

"Wow. A lot of Connery fans here. Or is it Bond fans? I will let you guys in on a secret..I really don't know too much about James Bond. Monty has been kind of enough to educate me in the history of Bond, but I really had no knowledge of this character. Let's keep that between us. Don't need to tell Sean that ok?" She makes the shush sound with her finger to her mouth.

"So guys I want to open the floor up to some Q&A right quick before we start the show...Yes you sir in the front.."

"So Ms Palfy do you like play any instruments or such?"
"No sir..not too much. I mean I could but I don't want to drive anyone away, if you know what I mean. Ok next ma'am in the back"

"Is this your first show that you have ever done?"
Irene pauses "Why yes it is ma'am. But I hope to be doing this for awhile now. If you guys can bear with me."
A young woman raises her hand to speak.."Do you have a signature move or something? You know like how Carol Burnett used to do her Tarzan yell."
Irene responds with a laugh " Not really. I hadn't thought of that. I don't know really. I can meow pretty good, I think"
Everyone starts laughing.
"But I guess I do need to come up with something. I tell you what I will work on that and as the season progresses, I hope to have something that I can call my own. The Palfy maybe. OK"

"Alright everybody just sit back and enjoy the rest of the show. We'll be right back."

The audience claps and the screen fades to black and when it comes back, Irene is sitting at her desk on stage talking with Sir Sean Connery.

"So my dear Irene. How did it happen I was your first guest?" Sean asks
"My friend Monty thought it would be a good idea for you to come on first". Irene responds
Sean says "Excellent. So my dear have you seen a lot of my films?"
Irene says "Oh god yes. You're a living legend Mr. Connery. The first James Bond and all"

Sean says "I see. And tell me what was your favorite Bond film of mine?"
Irene says "Beg your pardon?"

Sean says "You know the one you like the most"
The audience begin ooooohhhhing and ahhhhing...
Irene "Well they were all great Mr. Connery"
"Call me Sean my dear" he says
And Irene then says as if a light bulb goes off in her head "FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE!"
Sean says "But of course. A lot of women seem to prefer that one. The romance and the scenery. It was one of my favorites as well."
Irene then says "Well Mr. Connery...I mean Sean, it was so nice of you to come in to my show. I really appreciate that."
Sean says "No trouble at all my dear." Sean then grabs Irene's hand and then kisses it before walking off the stage.

Irene is left with her audience saying "Whew! I almost blew that one didn't I. If it wasn't for Monty's recent lesson on Russia I would have been in trouble. "

Irene gets up and yells out "Ok someone let Heidi know its time for her to come out next. In the meantime where are the dancers?
Dancers come out dressed in colorful costumes with feathers and in heels dancing to some Dean Martin tunes. The audience is just loving it. After several skits and another guest appearance, Irene comes back out for the final time.

"I want to thank everyone that came out tonight for my first show and I hope that you all enjoyed it. And we will try this again next week. Cue me some Dean Martin music guys.."
Irene starts doing a little dance as the music plays and the screen slowly goes to black....THE END.
Everyone please come back next week when Irene's special guests will be The girls of CHARLIE'S ANGELS: Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Completely having kittens (4)

This is part of a meme hosted by Michelle @ THE TRUE BOOK ADDICT.

Today's friend of a cat is my dear, dear Laird Cregar.

He and the cat appeared together in HANGOVER SQUARE (1945) - it was Laird Cregar's last film - I do not know about the further career of the cat.. - but obviously both had a very piercing glance:

- and just by the way: it is Laird Cregar's birthday today! Congrats, dear!!

Another birthday child today is lovely Joe E. Brown - who kindly enough shows us some dance steps - without any cat I have to confess..

I don't know about you - but I just love both men..

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Oh - there's just one more thing... (4)

Today: - How to...

...prevent your feet from getting a sunburn - in a never failing way

- demonstrated by Tyrone Power, jr.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

It's A Great Feeling...

It's A Great not the Doris Day movie, but a phrase I'm using to describe being here on my best friend Irene's wonderful blog. But I think that movie fits this occassion. Well if Irene is Doris then I have to be either Jack Carson or Dennis Morgan. I will go with Jack. He's funnier. In case you wondering it's me Monty. And this is my first post.
Yeah that's me as Jack..I was a little nervous at first coming on here, but feeling more and more relaxed by the minute...

And was that a great introduction by Irene or what? I feel so honored to be here and to write for her on this amazing blog of hers. I guess all of you guys that follow her blog are probably wondering who I am. Just your average movie loving fanatic. I love MOVIES! Love to watch them and then write about them and even more to talk about them. Hence my blog All Good Things. Well actually one of my blogs. The other two are Hero Worship and Screwball Cinema. My absolute favorite actor is Cary Grant and my fave actress is Carole Lombard.
I'm here to help my friend Irene in anyway possible..even if she falls down a lot...not that I think she falls down a lot...

I tend to spread myself a little thin as I help my good friend Dawn over at her many blogs. And trying to hold special events on my blogs. But me and Irene talked about me coming over here to write, I jumped at the chance. She is a great friend to have. So witty and just full of information. I just wanted to write this little post to let all of her fans know a little something about me before I start writing like mad over here. I think Irene is going to give me a weekly column or something. So that's me in a nutshell. Hope you guys will like what I can bring to And Then They Start To Sparkle. See ya in a bit.

I just hope Irene is not second guessing herself now and thinking...what have I done..all of a sudden I'm feeling a little panicky...maybe my tie is on a little too tight..

Monday, 25 July 2011

No guest - but a friend


Remember me announcing that Monty Hawes of ALL GOOD THINGS would be my guest at this blog in July?

Well.. I am really not good in making plans and afterwards actually doing as I planned.. - I am not organized at all – but ~ ahem ~ who wants me to be organized?

- See!! Would be dull, wouldn’t it?

So instead of having Monty as a guest for one month.. ..he now is co-writer of this blog!

Whenever you’ll find a well done post with more of a proper spelling and written in a very good style – it might be one of Monty’s posts.. – or it’s by Dorothy Parker..

(I just love her..)

But first you have to know Monty a bit, I think.. So - let’s start with that:

For me the blogosphere is like attending a giant party – there are some groups everywhere talking about different things - like we’re here about films. At this point I like to say:

Thank you - to all who “listened to” and “talked with” me!! Let there always be good conversation and love for films!!

I hope you can follow the party scenario then this is how it will be going..

Please join me in this!

Ok. Let's start:

Imagine you at this giant party – no dress code.

You may wear just jeans and T-shirt - or you wear your favourite fancy outfit..

.. like Miss Turner does:

("Gorgeous, really gorgeous, Lana!!")

- or do it like Ringo:

("Oh, come on! Starrs have to shine, dear!!")

Grab some drink - whatever suits you..

(May I present? Our favourite barkeeper - Mr. Newman .. - just by the way: "Too much ice, Paul!! How often do have I to tell you: we don't need to be housewifely with the drinks?!?!")

..and try some snacks..

(Doesn't this just look delicious?? Miss Monroe tested every cake herself..

- "Thank you so much for your commitment, Marilyn!!")

Ok, do you feel fine?

Everything ok?


So now listen:

Sometime ago (last year to be specific) I “joined” a "little" group (ok - this is understated.. 140 followers right now!!) at this giant party and the guy who led the conversation was bold enough to compare two different films to each other – it was BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S (1961) versus BUTTERFIELD 8 (1960) – plus:


Can you imagine that??

I was struck all of a heap!

Ok – perfect moment to reveal that I am no fan of BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S . Yeah - Holly is a great character, yeah – MOONRIVER is a great song, yeah – there is a cat in it – but still..

..well, and I just love BUTTERFIELD 8...

- anyhow:

I left a comment – he visited my film blog (back then it was just me – more or less) and became my first official follower here. (Thank you sooo much, Monty!!)

Later we did a certain festival together – Does a bell ring when I say “Beware these women”? – and while emailing and chatting we became friends – well, today he is actually one of my best friends..

Do you still picture the party scenery? Are you still comfortable?

Great! Because now I want my first follower and actually very good friend Monty (yeah! Who would have ever guessed that I am talking about Monty Hawes.. I hardly mentioned his name..) to step out of the crowd and tell a bit about himself

– he is just waiting for me to finally shut up - I know.. ;")

Please nod at him and/or give him a big lovely smile

– don’t applaud because I don’t want him to get nervous.. ;"p –

Here he is:

So, Monty - if you, please?

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Let's face the music - and talk (2. AMÉLIE)

I said this month I would participate in PARIS IN JULY – so the soundtrack of the month is from a French film – which is very surprisingly set in Paris..

NO!!! Who would have ever guessed that?!?

It's AMÉLIE by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (2001).

The original title is LE FABULEUX DESTIN D’AMÉLIE POULAIN which can be very easily translated into “the fabulous destiny of Amélie Poulain”.

It’s an absolutely lovely film – and I think it was the first French film I ever watched in cinema. It is one of my favourite films and Amélie is one of my heroines – I can relate to her very much.

In the film she personated by Audrey Tautou, who you may know from THE DA VINCI CODE (2006).

Here you have the US trailer for AMÉLIE – so you can take a first glance at it (some of the really beautiful pieces of music of this film can be already heard in this clip):

Maybe you recognized the young man: It’s Mathieu Kassovitz who also was in THE FIFTH ELEMENT (1997) and in MUNICH (2005) and he will be in HAYWIRE (2011)…

Now let’s talk about the music:

Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet originally wanted composer Michael Nyman to write the music for this film but changed his mind after listening to a CD by Yann Tiersen. So he bought the rights of Yann Tiersen’s melodies and used them for this film.

Yann Tiersen (who you can see in the picture above) also wrote one piece of music for this film which is used in different variations: LA VALSE D’AMÉLIE (= "the waltz of Amélie")

This is the orchestra version:

Another beautiful melody - A QUAI (hm.. I would say this means: "at the dock" - but I am not 100% sure about it..):

Not every song of this score was written by Yann Tiersen – here is GUILTY which was very popular in the 1930s - and it’s a wonderful song if you like to whistle… guess who does?!? ;”)

It was published in 1931 and is in this version sung by Al Bowlly – a very popular British singer back then. There are many more versions e.g. by my beloved Billie Holiday respectively my equally adored Ella Fitzgerald:

One track is not to be found on the actual soundtrack CD: THE CHILD by Alex Gopher which is played in a scene set in a porn shop. - None of my favourites – but maybe it's just YOUR cup of café au lait..

I can truly tell you – it’s a great soundtrack for long-distance trips by train (I checked that in several self-experiments..) – I can’t say anything about its “car-trip qualities” – yours Irene isn’t allowed to drive a car.. – mostly because she hasn’t got a driver’s license.. So you have to find that out by yourself.

I will add a poll again – you’ll have two weeks to decide which of those tracks I presented here is your favourite.

Well, and just for fun a little scene from the movie – Amélie behaves pretty much like I would do.. Very coltish..

I am sorry that I only found a scene with subtexts and nothing dubbed in English – but you know: international rights and such stuff.. *sigh* oh, poor me – and you! ;”)

Anyway: I hope you’ll like this scene.. and maybe start to think about watching this magnificent magical movie..

Yours (very well and) truly,


Thursday, 21 July 2011

Completely having kittens (3)

This is based on a meme hosted by Michelle @ THE TRUE BOOK ADDICT.

~ short notice: Dawn posted a lovely pic of Glenda Farrell and two (!) gorgeous Siamese cats HERE. (please visit!) ~

You remember last week's post? We had a tiny cat and a tall Alain Delon (5'11 8/4 = 1,82 m)

- and today we have a slightly smaller man and a slightly bigger cat:

Please welcome Kirk Douglas (5'9'' = 1,75 m) and his friend with the big paws!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Oh - there's just one more thing... (3)

Say - where you allowed to wear such shoes for PE??

No wonder Rita Hayworth sits this one out.. - lovely shoes though.. ;")

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Completely having kittens (2)

(This is a meme hosted by lovely Michelle at THE TRUE BOOK ADDICT )

And again it's Thursday..

..which means: some wellknown guys and girls will present us their feline company..

But first this:

Maybe I was a bit unclear in my last "Completely having kitten"- post:

Dawn's Pawsome Pet Pics at her blog NOIR AND CHICK FLICKS (<- please visit here..) also includes cat pics, too!!

So - okay - who's our guest here today?

It's a very young Alain Delon

- with a very young fluffy friend..

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Oh - there's just one more thing... - volunteers, please! (2)

Anyone around here who could lend Robert Redford a comb??


On second thoughts - I think I like him better that way.. ;")

(though I think I would like him much more if he was Sidney Poitier.. ;"p)

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Completely having kittens (1)

Lovely Michelle of THE TRUE BOOK ADDICT is hosting a meme called Cat Thursday - and I decided from now on to participate with some post some "more or less stars with cats" pictures here, too.

As you may know:

I am living with two fabulous cats - yes, I adore dogs - but cats seem to be "more of my kind"..

I have joined this meme for some time at my other blog NOT SOPHISTICATED (I AM THE SWEET AND SIMPLE KIND) - and I will go on there with "funny" pics - and photos of my beloved girls.. ;")

But I also wanted to post some photos of stars with feline company..

Anyway: enjoy the pictures! - well, I hope you do...

~ For those of you who are more fans of dogs than cats:

Dawn is doing a series called "pawsome pet pictures" (don't you just love that name??) on NOIR AND CHICK FLICKS (<- klick to visit Dawn's wonderful blog!) and there are definitively some dogs to see.. ;") ~

So let's start here with "my" new series and

Ann-Margret and her little friend!